Golden State Warriors late to the party on reported trade target

Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors
Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors have long been without a dominant, offensively talented center, particularly throughout the Steve Kerr era as the head coach's system has tended to favor role-playing big men to fit alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

They did have DeMarcus Cousins for a season, though he missed most of the season coming off a torn achilles before suffering a quad injury later on. They drafted James Wiseman hoping he would become that man, only for injuries and opportunity to stagnate his development to the point he was traded after just 60 games with the franchise.

The Golden State Warriors reported desire for a scoring big man is unlikely to come to fruition before the trade deadline

Now, after years of relying on scoring from their backcourt and the forward positions, the Warriors reportedly wish to make a sizeable adjustment. According to The Athletic's Tim Kawakami, "there has been some talk about maybe just go get a seven-footer who can score."

While that's an interesting development, it's not a particularly realistic aim ahead of the February 8 trade deadline. Skilled big men don't grow on trees -- recent MVP's Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are the exception, not to mention the fact they're never available for trade.

The most ideal target that fits the mould ahead of the deadline is Lauri Markkanen. While the 26-year-old isn't a traditional big man, he is a supremely talented offensive forward who happens to stand at seven-foot tall.

Lauri Markkanen
Lauri Markkanen dunks against the Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

While Markkanen continues to be mentioned in trade speculation, the prospects of him actually being moved appear incredibly remote. Since the former seventh overall pick returned from injury on December 13, the Jazz have a 12-4 record having moved past Golden State in the standings.

According to ESPN's Tim MacMahon, Markkanen would only be gettable if a franchise was willing to give up one of their untouchables. So in other words, he's not available without the Warriors giving up Stephen Curry.

Outside Markkanen, the options are limited to none. Nikola Vucevic and Wendell Carter Jr. may fit the fit bill as skilled big men, but they aren't seven-foot tall nor the sort of star-level player Golden State probably needs.

The reality is that the Warriors are late to the party. Their best option would have been to move for former Washington big man Kristaps Porzingis in the offseason, yet instead they chose to acquire Chris Paul in a deal with the Wizards. The Boston Celtics made the cold-blooded decision of moving veteran Marcus Smart for Porzingis, with the latter now averaging nearly 20 points on 52.8% shooting for the league-leading franchise.

Golden State may hope to get their hands on a seven-foot scorer, but at this point that's nothing but wishful thinking. It's a reflection of the franchise's inability to move with the times, a far cry from the mantra of lightyears ahead.